Released in 2007 across just about every platform available at the time, Puzzle Quest is a clever hybrid of RPG elements and a match-3 puzzle game set in Steve Fawkner's Warlords universe. But does this new gameplay turn prove to be a worthwhile endeavor in itself, or does it just become another forgettable casual puzzle game?
Steve Fawkner is a name familiar to long-time PC gamers, having been responsible for the Warlords turn-based strategy series and its real-time spinoff, Warlords Battlecry, both viewed as defining games in the genre. Puzzle Quest came as a bit of a surprise after nearly two decades of strategy titles, taking the setting and general premise but reworking the core gameplay into a simplistic match-three puzzle game. A pretty stark contrast, but it did prove to be a very popular and successful title in its own right; spurred by a mention on the popular webcomic Penny Arcade that resulted in a spike in demand for the Nintendo DS release, Infinite eventually was able to hire over 70 employees to port Puzzle Quest to almost every platform of the time. For better or worse, this has also resulted in the company mostly just producing sequels and spinoff games on the format since.
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Platform: Nintendo DS, PSP, PC, XBox 360, OS X, Playstation 2, Wii, Playstation 3, iOS, Mobile, Switch
Released: 2007, 2008, 2019
Recommended Version: Almost all of the later versions are an upgrade from the original Nintendo DS release, having substantially improved enemy AI; however, the PSP version was also notably buggy, with companion abilities not working and frequent game crashes. The Switch version (released as "Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns") is definitely the one to play now, containing the original game, the formerly Xbox-exclusive Plague Lord content, and even plenty of new content of its own.